Five Thousand Year Search for a Way to Describe the Feminine Nature of God

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This a feminist interdisciplinary examination of the divine imagery and its connection to sexual justice, investigating the use of the word Zöe, Greek for “life”. A feminist hermeneutics using varying methodologies is utilized to empower women’s autonomy. The book examines the Greek Septuagint, the Nag Hammadi Scriptures, the Kabbalah, Hebrew and other scriptural sources to argue that Zöe can serve to provide multiple feminine images of God: Lady Wisdom, Mother God, Fountain of Life, Tree of Life, and Restorer.


“… opens doorways that have obviously been dismissed by both religious and secular powerbrokers for a very long time. … embracing the author’s viewpoint might easily cause the concerned reader to explore further the paradigm she has expressed, and potentially, wish to change some (or even much) of that which is so often taken for granted as being just ‘the way it is.” Neimann’s work shows clearly that this [is] not the case, and points towards a far more inclusive viewpoint and the potential for a much broader and uplifting way to live.” -Dr. Stefan J. Malecek, Mankind Project

“… makes a substantial contribution to the field through her exploration of the term Zöe. Through her connections between Zöe and the feminine metaphor, Neimann offers a new way of recognizing the Divine and creates new possibilities for interpretations of sacred narratives.” Prof. Gina Messina-Dysert, Loyola Marymount University

“The purpose of Neimann’s work is to bring an increased awareness of the disempowered voices found in sacred writings, and to counter balance those often silent witnesses with the exposition of sacred writings where God/Goddess is indeed feminine. Though the exposition of the Greek word for life - Zöe, we can reset, re-imagine and bring reform to traditional theology, in order to bring the feminine voice back from the underground of censorship into a universal accepted norm of what it means for a woman to be made in the image of the Divine (God/Goddess).” -Kirsten Møller, Author of The History of Saint Cuthbert

Table of Contents


Foreword by Kirsten Møller




Chapter 1: Rethinking Genesis

Zöe in the Genesis Account
Rethinking The Fall
Textual Manipulation
In the Beginning was Zöe

Chapter 2: Towards a Definition of Life

Zöe’s Connection to Diversity
Life: Communication at the Cellular Level
Zöe is Relational
Gender Dominance Ramifications

Chapter 3: The Language Game: Power of Metaphors

The Language of Misogyny
The Male God: An Andocentric Construct
The Need for Inclusive Language
Results of a Dishonest Language
Metaphoric Language: Re-imagining Truth
Dead Metaphors
Importance of Metaphors in God Language
The Ambiguity of Language
Metaphors Unlock God Language

Chapter 4: Towards a Feminist Orthodoxy: The Full Personhood of Woman

Expressions of Theology
Feminist Hermeneutics
Hermeneutics of Suspicion
Hermeneutics of Retrieval

Chapter 5: Models of Interpretation: Towards Postmodernism

Guiding Theoretical Perspectives
Claims of Postmodern Interpretations
Philosophical Hermeneutics
Psychological Hermeneutics
Hermeneutics of Pluralism
Decontructing Patriarchal Hermeneutics
Jesus Narratives: Social Justice Hermeneutics

Chapter 6: Women, Violence and Sacred Scripture

Male as Normative
Misogyny as a Theological Weapon
Fundamentalism as Theological Weapon
Theological Bullying

Chapter 7: Zöe-Divine Mother in Sacred Scripture

Progression of Male Dominance of Theology
Divine Mother: Healer & Comforter
Healing Archetypes: Water & Trees
Zöe: Divine all Sufficient Mother
Zöe’s Fecundic Womb
Nurturing Mother Zöe
Zöe’s Breast’s as Fountain of Life

Chapter 8: Compassionate Mother Zöe

Womb as Place of Compassion
Birthing: Image of Baptism
Nursing: Image of the Eucharist
Christ as Birthing Mother
Christ as Sacrificial Mother
Zöe: the Good Shepard
Mother Zöe as Suffering Servant
Zöe: the Feminine Christ of Restoration

Chapter 9: Zöeas Words of Life

Zöe as the Tree of Life
Zöe: Mother Wisdom
Wisdom’s Diverse Roles

Chapter 10: Zöe: As Desire and Sensuality




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